How to adjust side mirrors

How To Adjust Side Mirrors Properly?

How to adjust side mirrors when crossing the road, turning, changing lanes, or reversing? Let's follow this article!

January 1, 2022

A car side mirror is a flat mirror used in cars and other vehicles, designed so that the driver can see behind through the vehicle’s windshield. In cars, the glass is usually mounted on top of the windshield on a double swivel mount that allows it to be adjusted to any driver’s height and viewing angle and can be harmless if hit by a car. occupants of the vehicle at the time of the accident. The side mirror’s job is to help the driver see behind and to the sides to ensure safety when driving traffic. In this article, we will provide you with types of side mirrors as well as the answer to the question “How to adjust side mirrors?”.

How to adjust side mirrors

Side mirror classification

According to the installation location

  • Side mirror mounted on the windshield

This is an old-fashioned side mirror, but it is still used and is very necessary for the driver to help the driver see in the rear compartment and help observe the vehicle control. It is better when reversing to avoid hitting rear obstacles that are difficult to see in the blind spot.

  • Side mirror on both sides of the body (external side mirror)

When the traffic on the road becomes more and more crowded, the driver begins to see the inconvenience of the old-fashioned side mirror. There are many spots in the rear that are not visible, especially on the sides, when the mirror is installed in the car. In addition, the side mirror mounted on the windshield is often deactivated by people behind or when the vehicle is carrying goods. Therefore, car manufacturers began to research, manufacture and apply a type of side mirror that allows drivers to have a wider field of view.

Today, any car is equipped with this type of side mirror. The side mirror on both sides of the body is installed on the outside, so it can help the driver get a better view of the rear of the car. Besides, the side mirror of the body also allows flexible adjustment to get the best viewing angle, suitable for the height and position of the driver.

According to the control method

  • Manually controlled side mirror

Currently, manually controlled side mirrors are still very popular and widely used, mainly used on trucks, buses, tractors, and some old cars.

  • Electrically controlled side mirror

The application of a side mirror mounted on the outside of the vehicle gives the driver better visibility. However, in the past, to adjust the projection angle and fold the mirror when parking, the driver had to operate manually, which was very inconvenient. The electric control side mirror was born to overcome that drawback. The driver just needs to sit in the car, control the angle of the mirror and fold the mirror with the touch of a button. An electrical circuit is connected from the button to the motor, which drives the mirror in different directions.

According to the function

  • Anti-glare mirror

When driving at night, one of the factors that greatly affects safety is the glare of the side mirror when a vehicle behind is shining with its headlights. Anti-glare mirrors are the solution to improve safety. Unlike ordinary rear-view mirrors, which only have one layer of glass, anti-glare mirrors include two layers, in which the outer layer is transparent and the inner layer is coated with a reflector like normal mirrors. Between these two layers of glass, there is a magnetic substance that can change color under the action of electric pulses. Sensors and a central control unit control mirror dimming and anti-glare.

  • Side mirror integrated screen

A fact that, although very useful, the side mirror still exists blind spots, i.e. points that the driver cannot see through the mirror. As technology develops, people apply rear-mounted camera devices to overcome that shortcoming. The interior side mirror, in addition to the traditional task, is also integrated with a screen. The image signal will be transmitted directly to the screen on the side mirror. In some vehicles, you just need to put the reverse gear, the screen immediately displays on the side mirror.

  • Side mirror with Bluetooth technology

Not only helps drivers to observe their surroundings when operating a car, but the side mirror integrated with Bluetooth mobile technology also allows the driver to easily make phone calls to make it safer to control the car. The side mirror integrates Bluetooth mobile technology with all the features of a mobile phone such as displaying incoming phone numbers, politely rejecting incoming calls, voice alarms, ringtones when on call. Incoming calls… Mirror mounted Bluetooth walkie-talkie supports all kinds of mobile phones with Bluetooth function.

  • Side mirror with built-in GPS

With the Global Positioning System (GPS) MirrorPilot attached to the side mirror, observing the navigation information display screen will be much more convenient. The navigation device using the GPS system integrated into the side mirror will provide information like when installed on the dashboard, and at the same time help the driver’s eyes not have to look down but still see the road ahead. 

When participating in traffic, the most important thing is to practice observing everything around to know what other vehicles are doing. In addition, when changing lanes, observing will also help you move more smoothly, avoiding potential dangers around.

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What should you see in your side mirrors?

In most cases, drivers often leave the field of view of the outside side mirror more than the side mirror in the cabin – this is the cause of reducing the ability to see behind. Because at this time, the viewing area through the side mirror is reduced, but it does not help the driver to observe the details of the two rear sides.

These are basic errors, which can be caused by the driver not paying attention, just doing it out of habit, or often doing it in an unreasonable way. Therefore, there is a potential safety risk due to the large blind spot of the vehicle, significantly reducing the field of vision when participating in traffic.

To increase safety features, before starting, the driver needs to adjust all 3 side mirrors so that they can see the widest and minimize the range of the invisible area (blind spot) behind and 2 sides of the car.

How to adjust side mirrors

How to adjust side mirrors properly?

Below is a 6-step instruction of how to adjust side mirrors:

Step 1: Sit within the seat of the driver. Position the seat as well as the steering wheel for feeling comfortable and have access to the equipped shifter and brake pedal.

Step 2: Tenderly move the rearview mirror so that you can see specifically out of the center of your back windshield without moving your head. The objective is to rapidly look from your front street to the back street behind without having to move/turn your body too much time.

Step 3: Exactly locate the buttons or the levers that adjust your car’s side mirrors. Numerous more current models have a little lever or joystick on the driver’s side entryway that electronically alters the side mirrors. More seasoned models regularly require you to physically alter them utilizing a lever or by pressing on the reflect.

Step 4: Adjust the driver’s side mirror before starting. Make alterations at that point and sit back within the driver’s seat to guarantee that you can simply see the street behind you and a little fragment of the car’s side.

Step 5: After that, it is necessary for you to adjust the passenger-side mirror. In the event that you have got to adjust it physically, you’ll have to be moved between the passenger’s and driver’s seats until it is adjusted in the proper way.

Step 6: Finally, in case all the side mirrors are adjusted in the proper way, sit within the driver’s situate and see in each, beginning with the driver’s side mirror. You ought to see everything behind you when you glance along.

How to adjust the side mirror to limit blind spots?

In fact, depending on the physique of each person, from height to weight, the angle of view on the mirror will change, even in the same car. As for the middle side mirror, it is quite simple, the driver just needs to rotate so that the entire rear windshield can be seen, this helps the driver to observe most of the space behind the glass. As for the left and right side mirrors, the adjustment depends on the habits of each person, so before starting the car, practice how to adjust the mirror and see when it feels good to use that position. 

Adjust the mirror with a narrow viewing angle

The rear-view mirror on both sides of the car usually adjusts to 2 rotational axes so that it can: face up – face down (on the horizontal axis), and spread out – down (on the vertical axis). To observe, in a normal sitting position, the driver only needs to glance or turn his head slightly (no need to tilt his head or lean towards the mirror).

  • Step 1: Adjust the side mirror vertically (upward – cup down direction) of the side mirror so that the lower edge of the mirror can observe ½ of the front door handle.
  • Step 2: Adjust the side mirror horizontally (outward – turn in) of the side mirror so that the image of the side of the car occupies ¼ of the horizontal in the mirror, the image of the side of the car near the rear occupies the remaining ¾.
  • Step 3: Adjust the center side mirror so that the rear window image is in the center of the mirror.

The advantage of this way of adjusting the mirror is to help maximize the visibility of the hips and rear of the car, effectively supporting when moving the car into the parking lot or narrow roads. 

The disadvantage is that because it is mainly concentrated in the rear of the car, the body of the car exists a rather large blind area. This makes it difficult for the driver to observe parallel moving vehicles next to the vehicle when changing direction or changing lanes. In addition, when adjusting the mirror in this way, because the mirror is facing inward (narrow-angle), the image in the outside side mirror is easily duplicated with the central side mirror.

Adjust the mirror with a wide-viewing angle

  • Step 1: The driver tilts his head to touch the side of the car, adjusts the driver’s side mirror so that it covers the rear quadrant of the driver’s side.
  • Step 2: The driver leans towards the center of the vehicle, adjusts the side mirror so that it covers the rear quadrant of the passenger side.
  • Step 3: Adjust the center side mirror so that the rear window image is in the center of the mirror.

Since vehicle construction and mirror size are different for each vehicle, it is important to check to see if the blind spot portion has been minimized. After adjusting all three side mirrors inside and outside, look at the edge of the center side mirror, determine the beginning and the end of the visible image. Next, observe the edge of the side mirror on both sides. Adjusting the car mirror is best when the image at the edge of the inner mirror just touches the image at the edge of the outside mirror. At this time, the image of the outer mirror does not overlap with the inner mirror, and the viewing area is not missed.

The advantage of adjusting the wide-angle side mirror is that it helps the three mirrors combine to form a seamlessly reflected image strip, providing a panoramic view. So, when there is any movement behind, for example, when the vehicle behind passes, the image of that car will change from the center mirror to one of the two outside side mirrors. This type of mirror adjustment helps the driver to better observe the area on both sides of the vehicle, thereby being able to change lanes and change direction more safely. 

The disadvantage of this way of adjusting the mirror is that it does not observe the rear of the car as well as the narrow-angle adjustment. This is quite disadvantageous when you need to reverse, park, or move the car into a narrow road.

Notes when adjusting the side mirror

Never adjust the side mirror of a car while the vehicle is running. Only proceed to adjust the mirror when you have stopped and parked in a safe place.

Depending on the situation and observation habits, the driver can flexibly choose how to adjust the wide-angle or narrow-angle. Most cars today are equipped with a reverse sensor, a reversing camera, and a mirror feature that automatically adjusts when the car is in reverse… Therefore, the wide-angle mirror adjustment method is applied by more people.

In case the driver wants to observe well in the rear and side areas of the car, a bridge mirror can be installed to remove the car’s blind spot. This is a small convex mirror used to mount on the outside side mirror. Due to the convex mirror design that can flexibly rotate the angles, this spherical mirror provides a wider viewing angle, greatly expanding the field of view.

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How to check the side mirror after adjustment?

To help maximize the use of the side mirror, to help the driver have a good view of the two side mirrors, it is necessary to have the appropriate extension. Depending on the structure of the vehicle, the width of the body, the size of the mirror, etc., the blind spot of each vehicle is also different. Users can check by looking at the two edges of the side mirror in the car, determining the last point you see outside the car. Next, look at the outside side mirror on both sides and adjust so that the start and end points coincide.

Check the order of appearance of vehicles behind you and the passing of your car through the order of appearance on the side mirrors. You will see this vehicle in the side mirror in the car first. Then, when passing on the left or right-hand side, the image will appear on the left or right side mirror. If car users can see the reflection of the car behind in the side mirror, as soon as you can no longer see in the side mirror in the car, you have eliminated the blind spot.

The image transition from the side mirror in the car and the side mirrors needs to happen continuously. If the appearance is still intermittent, the mirror should be readjusted so that the vehicle image is correctly forwarded. Always observe the side mirror to judge the situation when the following vehicle wants to overtake, helping to handle it quickly.

How to use a side mirror for maximum effect?

Combination of side mirror and turn signal light

When starting to move or want to stop at the side of the road, vehicle users need to combine turning signal lights and look in the side mirror to observe the direction they want to stop and avoid unnecessary collisions that cause damage to themselves.

When driving through intersections, crowded areas, narrow roads, or traffic jams, the side mirror helps you monitor the status of your car and other people in traffic on the road. This helps to minimize collisions, especially with motorbikes when everyone wants to squeeze forward.

When traveling on roads where speed is required, vehicle users need to observe the side mirror to keep a distance from both front and rear people, helping to limit rear-end collisions.

In situations where urgent handling is required such as the car in front of them stopping suddenly, car users need to look behind and to the sides to provide timely handling situations. For example, if the vehicle ahead stops suddenly, the user observes that the adjacent lane is empty, the driver needs to immediately steer to the next lane to avoid causing a collision with the vehicle stopping suddenly in front.

Observe handling of emergency situations

When reversing, you should observe all side mirrors inside and outside the car, even the user should turn completely to have the best view. It is advisable to get off the car completely to measure the safest distance, especially for new drivers. New car users will find it difficult to judge the distance just by looking through the side mirror.

Re-align the side mirror when traveling long distances, on the highway or on the highway. These roads will have car users with headlights on, if not adjusted, you will be reflected from the headlights in the car moving behind into the side mirror in the car, distracting, dazzling, danger while driving.

Above are instructions on how to adjust side mirrors for safe driving that any driver should read to be more secure when participating in traffic. Hopefully with a few minutes of stay on the article has provided you with a lot of useful knowledge.

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